Regulatory Update – Will the ICD-10 Deadline Push?

At T-System, we’ve been preparing for the upcoming transition to ICD-10-CM for several years now. We made it a priority to be out ahead of the deadline in order to prepare the way for our customers. This summer, we saw a flurry of activity from various provider-advocate groups lobbying CMS to extend the date yet again or at the very least extend the grace period until the new codes really count.

  • A call was made at a 2012 AMA meeting to go directly to ICD-11, bypassing ICD-10: AMA once advocated for the skip, but ultimately decided against it.
  • Physician advocates requested greater flexibility: give physicians a two-year grace period where they would not be penalized for coding errors and require payers to provide feedback on why claims were denied.
  • MGMA urged CMS to conduct end-to-end testing to ensure providers and Medicare can effectively transmit claims. CMS has declined.

Why we believe the October 1st deadline will hold

  • CMS’s credibility will suffer if it is pushed again.
  • The HIPAA 5010 conversion, though bumpy, is now complete and allows CMS continue to tout its readiness to accept the newly expanded codes.
  • Vendors, payers and other large providers have already made significant investments.

How T-System is preparing the way for our customers

Although there will continue to be speculation about date of the ICD-10 transition, T-System will be ready. We’ve learned a lot as we’ve prepared our products for the upcoming transition, and we are already sharing that knowledge with our customers.

One example: we’ve had ICD-10-ready T Sheets® since February of 2013 for four of the most common chief complaints, and they are currently in use at numerous customer sites around the country. During post-trial feedback sessions, clients had positive feedback about the clinical content we’ve included to support the specificity required for ICD-10 diagnoses codes from physicians, HIM staff and coders. What has been most gratifying for us is hearing the relief in our customers’ voices when they see how we’ve prepared the way for them to be successful in their transition to ICD-10.

What you can do now

  • Visit our resource center for more information on ICD-10.
  • Learn about our comprehensive ICD-10 readiness services for emergency care.
  • If you are a T Sheets customer, contact us to discuss how you can try some of our sample ICD-10-ready T Sheet templates at no cost to you.
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About the Author

Heather Smith, CPHIMS

Heather Smith, M.S., CPHIMS, Director of Product Management Heather Smith is an experienced IT leader who manages cross-functional teams to deliver high-quality products. She is a Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS), holds a Master of Science in information technologies and has over 18 years of experience in product management. Smith leads the development, deployment and commercialization of T-System’s core clinical documentation products such as Doc Notes.

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